Happy Halloween!!!!

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Blogging today at The Wet Noodle Posse

Have a great Halloween!!!

Goals

lolcats and funny pictures

Remember how relaxing and cozy last week was?

I miss last week.

This week:

1) reduce pronouns from my book
2) write as much as I can on small town story before Nano starts
3) type in revisions on Ghost Hunters before Nano starts
4) Nano starts ;)
5) Blog on the WNP on Halloween
6) Start revisions on Hot Shot for Samhain (I got a revision letter Tuesday but it was in my spam folder!)
7) The boy’s gigs on Monday and Tuesday
8) Halloween – not that we do much, but…the kids at school will be crazy.
9) Tutoring starts
10) Start centers at school
11) Keep up at school
12) Keep up house

Not as bad as next week, but…

I must rant a bit on Force of Nature. First, I gotta say, this is her most romance-centric book in awhile. The suspense plot is VERY secondary, and is only there to pull in Jules and Robin. I'm fine with that, but it is a teensy manipulative.

My BIG rant is the Jules/Robin story. Never - never never never never never - would she get away with this relationship if it was a man/woman romance. If a hero or heroine acted as Robin does, hellfire would rain down from romance readers. I have NO IDEA why Jules loves this jackass. The only thing I can see is maybe he wants to rescue him, but thus far, with 70 pages to read, I can see no HEA for these two. Has anyone else read this book? Anyone agree?

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The Halloween Party

This was as the Halloween parties of old....lots of food, LOTS of drinks, lots of people. LOTS of people. My brother was saying it was his house and he didn't even recognize them (in OR out of costume.) Hung out, sang a couple of karaoke songs, got home after 1.

My brother is the demon in the black cape (those are red contacts, BTW). His wife is the Spanish dancer. Her best friend is the mermaid. His best friend is the cowboy, and his best friend's wife is the Indian holding the baby cowboy ;)

Baby brother is the Power Ranger. Little Ninjas are Healing Brother's nephews. My ds is John Lennon (he just added glasses to his regular look), my dh is the prisoner. He had more beers last night than I think he's ever had - 3. He out-drank my brother, who just had one margarita. I had almost a whole bottle of wine on my own, and I'm still tasting it.

The Dia de los Muertos couple is my SIL's brother and his wife.

Scary mask guy in the first picture and scary mouth girl further down are my SIL's sis and her new dh.

The gangsters - I don't know who they were, but the dogs started barking when they came in.

The dogs hung around the food. Hank gave up ;)



Let's see how the pictures work this way. You have to click to get the big pic:









































































Trish Says I Need to Go Shopping More Often

In July, when Trish got THE CALL, she called to tell me and I was shopping at the outlet mall with my mom.

Tonight, when Trish got The Call that she SOLD TWO BOOKS TO HARLEQUIN AMERICAN, I was shopping at La Cantera with the dh.

Clearly, I must do this thing more often for her sake ;)

Yes, indeed the Year of Trish continues to roll!!!! Let's take account of her successes this year.

She double-finalled in the Golden Heart (and WON).
She finalled in the Harlequin American contest (and SOLD).
She finalled in the Maggies (and WON).
She finalled in American Title.
She was elected to the RWA board.

Heck of a list, isn't it? I've been on the inside track during all of it, and NONE of it was easy. The book that won the Golden Heart was written after a summer of discouragement. The book that finalled in the American contest had been revised and rejected by Intrigue, then revised two more times (at least) before it sold. The American Title book was considered for Bombshell before it folded. There are other :this close: stories in her career.

She works hard Every Day for the level of success she's achieved. She has a schedule she adheres to, she is extremely disciplined, and that discipline (along with TONS of talent, clearly), that determination, that perseverance is finally paying off in a big way. GO TRISH!!!!!!!

(And I'm not just saying this because I came home to find THIS Published Author Survivor Kit:

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Trish said the Pumpkin Pie Paradise was for relaxing after a long day of writing. The truffles are to give energy. The quote picture frame (which says "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined - Henry David Thoreau") is for my picture with my first book (SNIFF!!!) and the journal, which says Dream, is to chronicle the important moments of my career. Isn't that awesome???

Pronoun Diet and TV

lolcats & funny cat pictures - ..i�d eat yooz  but i is to tired

Yesterday at lunch one of our teachers said she was too tired to eat. That NEVER happens to me. Then we found out all the microwaves and the Coke machine weren't working because the grade level before had used all 3 microwaves at the same time and blew a fuse. (This never happened when we had micros in the classroom!) So the tired teacher, another teacher and myself (all named Mary, BTW) decided to run to Church's Chicken. Mmmm, MUCH better than a ham on wheat.

I came home to more revisions. Could be worse. I have to put my ms on a pronoun diet. That is SO much harder than it sounds. I highlighted all the pronouns in the book, and WOW. I never knew they were bad, though. This is a new one for me.

My Name Is Earl used an interesting device yesterday. Early in the program, it showed one of the characters falling in love, talking about how he didn't believe in hell, what he believed the afterlife was. It was meant to show how important this girl was to him. Later in the show, they showed a longer version. The beginning of the scene - the girl asked if he thought they'd go to hell for stealing - and the end - the two of them robbing a liquor store. So yes, while she was important to him enough for him to share those thoughts with her, he was also kind of using her.

I got ANOTHER phone call during The Office. Gah. But I loved the song Darrell wrote "People Person Paper People." And their commercial was cute.

Supernatural was okay....kind of a bridge episode, I guess. Interesting how Dean's point of view is changing. BUT if Sam was supposed to lead them (what kind of chain of command is that, anyway?) why did we have all the Psy Kids??

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Guest Blogger TRISH MILBURN Is In!!!!

This is Trish, after hearing her name announced for the Golden Heart this year.

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Focusing on the Positive
By Trish Milburn

Too often we writers tend to focus on the negatives of the day-to-day life of the writer — the rejection letters, the long wait times for responses, editors who are interested in our work leaving publishing houses, lines closing, houses closing to unagented submissions, etc. In the midst of all this negativity, we fail to see the positives along the way. The journey to our ultimate goal would be more enjoyable if we focused on those positives more.

When we receive rejection letters, we often can’t see past the fact that it’s a rejection. But ask yourself if this rejection letter is “better” than the last one. Is it personalized? Does the editor/agent also point out positives in amongst the reasons why she’s passing on your manuscript? Does she say she’d be willing to see something else of yours?

I’ve been down the road of having an editor interested in my work only to have her leave the house. But you never know when that editor might pop up at another house, one that might be interested in your work. Granted this didn’t happen to me the first time I was “orphaned”, but my editor now had been interested in my work when she was at a previous house. Imagine my sadness when she left. But as it turns out, her changing houses was a good thing for me in the long run.

Yes, lines close. But others also open. Be ready to take advantage of new opportunities that arise.

The largest positive for me as a writer, however, is all the wonderful friends I’ve made along the way. These people aren’t just business contacts. They are true friends with whom I share more than writing, but because we share the writing in common they “get” me, and all the ups and downs of the writer’s life. If any semblance of writing success disappeared tomorrow without any hope of being replaced in the future, I’d still count myself lucky because I’ve made wonderful friends like Mary and so many others.

So remember to focus on the positives writing has brought into your life, especially when the negatives threaten to get you down.

~~~

Another positive in my life right now is being a finalist in the American Title contest with my manuscript, OUT OF SIGHT. You can view the first lines of all 10 finalists and cast your vote for your favorite at http://www.romantictimes.com/news_amtitle3.php. Voting for the first round, after which the two contestants with the least votes will be eliminated, ends this Sunday, Oct. 28.

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Cozy

funny cat pictures & lolcats - 5 more minutes.

The cold front came in suddenly and really dropped temperatures. We went from wearing sandals on Sunday to sock and shoes on Monday. I was wearing my leather jacket yesterday because it was 43.

I LOVE this weather. It's clear as a bell outside. I've come home every day to the dh with the windows open (yes, chilly, but it smells so GOOD.) It's getting dark earlier, so I take my bath and put on my warm pjs and fuzzy socks and get on the couch with my writing and my Tivo remote. The dh has been making dinner, but I still crave something sweet while I watch the scary movies I've been Tivoing.

It's just been a really cozy, relaxing week. I need to enjoy it while I can!

Yesterday was the last day for my student who always gets picked up late. Kinda sad - I really bonded with him. More testing today, but at least I get to wear jeans.

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Wet Noodle Posse Golden Heart blog (pinned post)

When it comes to the Oscars and the Golden Heart, it’s an honor just to be nominated. Of course, it’s a honkin’ thrill to win. The Wet Noodle Posse wants you to be thrilled or honored next year, so starting October 1st, we’re devoting our entire blog to Golden Heart tips, to help you get your purty face on the big screen in San Francisco.

What’s the best category for your entry? How do you interpret this year’s formatting instructions? Where do you break your partial? What mistakes can you avoid and what stand-out traits do winning entries have? Every member of the Wet Noodle Posse is a previous GH finalist, lots are winners, and a few have enough bling to start their very own heart-themed gift shop.
Believe it or not, entering the Golden Heart can be fun. Join the camaraderie that is the Wet Noodle Posse and get help bringing home the Gold!

Mark your calendar for October 1st and visit http://wetnoodleposse.blogspot.com.
Send any suggestions of Golden Heart topic areas you wish the Noodlers to address to Jill Monroe at jillmonroe@cox.net.
Take a break by visiting our free monthly ezine: http://www.wetnoodleposse.com.

Who is the Wet Noodle Posse?
In 2003, a group of about sixty women met each other online for the first time as finalists in the Golden Heart. They found a special friendship, and stayed together - through births and deaths, the inevitable agent and editor rejections, giddy-making first sales and more sales. When anyone expressed doubt about her talent, the others threatened to thrash her with a wet noodle. The name Wet Noodle Posse was born. Today the Posse has any multi-finalists and winners, and a few have enough bling to start their very own heart-themed gift shop.

The Wet Noodle Posse went on to launch an e-zine designed to celebrate and support women in all kinds of ways. Of the Noodlers who take part in the e-zine, 22 of 32are now published, for nearly 69 percent. They also started a blog to expand their contact with others. Now the Wet Noodle Posse wants to share their collective experience to encourage other writers to enter the Golden Heart.

Why Nano?

funny pictures & lolcats - oh hai i just straiten this line k

I am so swamped with email, and I'm not spending as much time on the computer since I'm writing this new book by hand. I have revisions already on the first 20 pages of Smoke. I'm DREADING next week.

I got the rankings of Gateway, and my two paranormals fell about the middle. As usual, Ghost Hunters got two high scores and a low. Vamp Hunters had all about the same. I also saw I'm a TOUGH judge. One entry finalled only after dropping my score, and I gave the lowest score on 2 other entries. No more contests for me for awhile.

Last year I had the most fun doing Nano. After a year of revisions, I let loose on a new story, one I’d done no preplanning on. I didn’t even have a hero in mind. The second day of November, I was still looking for him.

Two days later, I had him, and he was the villain.

This story would wake me up in the morning. I always had an idea to write (though not always in the order I wanted to write it) and I finished the book on November 27, with 50001 words.

During that time, I even had my folks here from Minnesota, and I’d let my house go, so had to spend a weekend cleaning.

I learned that counting words written gave me more of a sense of accomplishment than counting pages.

Did you Nano last year? What did you learn? Do you plan to do it this year?

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Halloween Costumes

funny cat pictures - Iz tired frum lilkken all  dem dishes kleen!

My brother's having his big Halloween bash this weekend. Usually we go to Party City Saturday morning and see what's left (fewer decisions to make that way, get it?)

But I'm looking for suggestions for the three of us that DOESN'T require a trip to a busy store and a lay-down of lots of cash, since we're all chipping in on the margarita machine, too. I have: a blonde curly wig, a Cleopatra wig, a fat lady from the opera helmet, a doctor's outfit, Caesar's robes, a knight outfit and a princess outfit.

Any ideas?

It's raining, and a cool front is coming in. I think all my slacks are at the dry cleaners :(

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Goals

funny cat pictures - popeye cat eatz spinach

I slept till 8 AM yesterday and still took a 4 hour nap!

I read Trish's outline for her yesterday, wrote a bit of backstory for my new book (still no title, sigh), and made revision notes on Ghost Hunters. I just need to type those in and that book will be put to bed.

I spent the evening at Dawn’s, good friend, good wine, endless conversation.

So, this week the dh is on vacay and I want to:

1) type in Ghost Hunter revisions by October 31
2) write query for Ghost Hunter
3) work on Small Town, get as much done as I can by October 31
4) look into getting a website
5) keep up at school (assessments all week will make it easier - not as much stuff to grade)
6) keep up at home

Not bad. I know next week will kick my butt ;)

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Caturday!!!

lolcat - Iz Caturday sumware!

My son is very interesting. I picked him up from school yesterday because he stayed after for a UIL meeting. He's going to be on the UIL history team. His history teacher (who he adores, argues with and emails) approached him about this, and my son said yes.

He's very politically minded. We watch The Colbert Report every night because of him, and you wouldn't believe all the books he's bought based on that show. He's reading THE END OF AMERICA right now and says every American should read it. He watches politics on You Tube. He watches the presidential debates instead of House.

I look at him and wonder where he came from.

I figure my mom did the same with me. My mom's very religious, she's very craftsy and homey. I was craftsy and homey when the boy was little, but now I much prefer writing. On our last trip to the coast, I was surprised how little my mom and I have in common anymore.

I know most of you have little kids, or no kids, but do you ever see a disconnect in how you raised them and the person they've become? It's not bad, it's just - I wonder what influenced the difference.

I'm working on backstory right now, after having the brainstorm Thursday night. MAN, I need new pictures ;)

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My Two New Heroes

lolcats - invisible disco
more funny pictures

No, not these guys.

Two men made my day yesterday.

The first is this guy:

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This is Michael Hauge. If you were at National the past two years, you might have noticed him. He's a screenplay consultant and he gave a workshop called "From Identity to Essence" in Atlanta that really helped me with my characters in BD. Yesterday I listened to his 2007 workshop "Uniting Plot Structure" and it was as if someone had turned the camera lens and my story came into sharp focus. I don't think it was something PARTICULAR he said, but suddenly I knew what my conflict had to be. Of course, this is going to cause me OTHER problems, because I had Noah as significantly older than Ellie, and now they need to be closer in age, which causes problems with her and her recently ended relationship, but hopefully I can figure that out. Anyway, wow, what a workshop.

The second is this guy:

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This is Healing Brother before he needed to be healed. (Yes, I'm too lazy to go to iPhoto and get a real picture.) He's down about 50 pounds. I've been calling him for a few weeks and we've just not hooked up. He called during my SARA meeting, so I called him yesterday during lunch, and he called back last night during The Office.

We talked for an hour and a half.

Anyway, he asked what was new and I told him about my contract. I told him that this didn't make me rich, but he blew that off. "What does THAT matter, Sis? How many people can say they've written a book and gotten in PUBLISHED?"

Huh.

I think maybe we hang around other writers so much, we DON'T see it as a big deal, or as big of a deal, maybe? We know people who have dozens of books on shelves, and maybe if we've even seen their journey, we take for granted that will be the end result, a book on a shelf.

Civilians see it for the wonder it is.

So while only writers understand another writer's struggle, maybe only civilians understand a writer's success?

How great was Supernatural last night? I got a little nitpicky about plot problems, but I thought the story and acting was just great!

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Pet Peeves

lolcat - breakfast cat is nutritious breakfast
more funny pictures

Yes, Mary is cranky today.

Pet Peeve #1: Field Trips. The first part was good - they looked at pelts and skulls and had to figure out adaptations. The second part was the hike, which was more like, two steps, "Is this a fossil?" two steps, "What kind of bug is THAT?" two steps, "Is THIS a fossil?" two steps, "What kind of grass is that?" GAH.

Pet Peeve #2: Traffic and Construction. It took me FORTY minutes to get to SARA last night, and 15 to get home.

Pet Peeve #3: Guilt Trips. Because I'm guilty most of the time anyway and I don't need someone at my LEISURE ACTIVITY to make me feel guilty.

Pet Peeve #4: Signs with store hours written SO TINY you have to get out of the car to see the hours, instead of being able to drive past to see them.

Pet Peeve #5: Wishy Washy Heroines, which mine is turning out to be. Need to give her some JUICE, man!

EDITED TO ADD:

Fast Food that isn't fast - 10 minutes in line at McDonald's for a chicken biscuit. SERIOUSLY???

Spending $6 on shipping and I STILL haven't gotten the Dillon Panthers shirt I ordered weekend before last. (Got my Nano shirt, though!)

What are your pet peeves?

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Why Is It...?

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That I am about to explode with wanting to write and won't get any done today? Field trip to a park (which means sneakers, which I haven't worn in MONTHS) AND SARA meeting.

We're testing ALL next week and the dh is off :(

We saw Transformers last night. A hair too long (2 hours and 20 minutes!), and very cartoony at the end. Not nearly enough Josh Duhamel. The actress who plays Mary Winchester was his wife, though! I saw Surf's Up the night before. Meh.

Okay, going to write while I can.

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Goodreads

M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

Good Reads

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MJFredrick
I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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